Homeless say attacks by three teens were frequent

Created: 07/22/2014 9:51 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The brutal beating deaths of two homeless men wasn't the beginning for three Albuquerque teens, according to others who say the trio has attacked them for months.

In interviews with police, the teens claimed to have attacked more than 50 other homeless people.

According to police, the youngest of the three, 15-year-old Gilbert Tafoya, told police it was the first time the three went so far in attacking someone.      

The survivor of the attack, and friends of the two men who were killed, say these boys have been attacking homeless people for a while, but they say there were always five boys, not three.

"Right here, these are the bricks that broke," said "Skeets," the man who survived the weekend attack. 

On Tuesday, Skeets went back to the vacant lot where he lost two of his friends forever. But it was almost him.

"To know that I live another day, thank you father God," he said.

Skeets escaped as his friends were savagely beaten to death -- cops say at the hands of 15-year-old Gilbert Tafoya, 16-year-old Nathaniel Carillo, and 18-year-old Alex Rios.

"The boys"

"He's the one who called my name, 'Skeets! Skeets!'" said Skeets, pointing to a photo of Nathaniel Carillo.  

Skeets says the boys weren't strangers. 

His friend Poncho found the bodies.

These two friends say the boys have attacked them before, even beating Skeets' 62- year-old mom a couple months ago.

"Son, son, son!" Skeets remembers his mom crying out.

It was Poncho who fought off the attackers. 

"He's the one who hit my mom," said Skeets, again pointing to a photo of Carillo.

Poncho and Skeets say suspect Gilbert Tafoya's father Victor Prieto knew what his son was doing.

"I told him, 'the boys hit me" and then he told me, "talk with the boys." said Poncho.

Another attack

"I had to run for my life cause nobody else would save me."

According to another homeless man -- Charles -- those boys got around town.

"I was sleeping," he said, pointing to a Dumpster behind businesses on Old Coors.

Charles says he was huddled behind the Dumpster when the boys attacked him a couple months ago.

"Why would they do that to us?" he said.

Five, not three

"This one, this one, this one," said Skeets, tapping his finger on photos of Rios, Carillo and Tafoya.

Poncho and Skeets say there were always five boys.

"There's the that got caught," said Skeets. "But there's two more out there."

So will it stop?

Skeets and Poncho don't have the answer, but they'll face it together.

"They say we're homeless, they say we don't have nothing at all," said Skeets.

"I say, no. We have a heart."

APD tells KOB investigators are confident they've caught everyone responsible for the murders.      

Investigators are still trying to find out if those teens can be connected to any other attacks.

Police want your information about any crimes the teens may have committed. To report tips anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP.

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